I'm 17 and constantly see some of my friends strive to be skinny by not eating. How important is it for girls my age to be eating right?
I can't stress to you enough how important it is for teenagers to be eating a nice healthy well-balanced diet. This is a vital time for growth and development for you. Teenage years are also an important time for building your bone density. If you're not having enough bone nutrients in your diet such as calcium and magnesium, you won't develop good bone density and you will be prone to getting fractures and osteoporosis later in life.
Having a restrictive diet in teenage years will affect your hormonal and reproductive health, you may stop menstruating. Your emotional health will also be affected if you're not giving your brain the nutrients it needs to function properly and produce enough serotonin (your happy hormones) such as omega-3 fats and B vitamins. This can leave you vulnerable to becoming depressed or anxious. Your immune health will also be affected, especially if you're not eating enough vitamin C, A and zinc rich foods. This will increase the risk of you getting colds and flu and other illnesses more often.
If you are concerned about your diet or need a little help with some healthy meal suggestions you should go and have a consult with a nutritionist or naturopath, to make sure you're getting all the important nutrients you need for good health and growth and development during these important years.
For more information visit Lisa's website, Art of healing.